Bettendorf’s Darien Porter finishes the boys 100-meter dash at the 4A coed state-qualifying track meet held at North Scott High School in Eldridge.

ELDRIDGE — A state trophy has been on the Bettendorf boys’ track and field team’s mind for the past two years.

The Bulldogs stumbled at the state meet last year. They are positioned to redeem themselves at Drake Stadium next week.

Powered by 10 event wins, including four from senior Darien Porter, Bettendorf cruised to the Class 4A district title Friday night at Lancer Stadium with 204 points.

“We’ve got so much talent and depth everywhere,” senior middle distance runner Brendan Scott said. “We have so many more athletes that we’re bringing and a chance for more points. The team we’ve got set up right now, we have a real shot at competing for a trophy at state.”

Porter ran career-best times in the 100 (10.68 seconds), 200 (21.69) and 400 (47.84). He also anchored the Bulldogs to a victory in a season-best time of 1:31.73 in the sprint medley relay.

The Iowa State football recruit has a legitimate shot at four gold medals next week in Des Moines.

“To be able to drop those times tonight is big for momentum and confidence going into the state meet,” Porter said. “The coaches have been stressing to us through training that this is the meet that matters. This is the second biggest meet of the year.

“So to see the whole team come out and perform and qualify a lot of people is great. We’re really motivated for next week.”

Bettendorf also won the 400, 800, 3,200 and distance medley relays along with Alex Blizzard claiming the shot put and Scott edging teammate Nick Moore for the 800 crown.

The Bulldogs have automatically qualified in 13 of the 19 events. There is a strong possibility it could be an at-large qualifier in a couple others.

“Our motto throughout the whole season has been to trust the process,” Scott said. “Either a good race or a bad race, we’ve got to keep pushing. Ultimately, it will lead us at districts, and that’s what it has done.”

Pleasant Valley recorded four victories and five runner-up finishes. Kent Nichols (3,200), Kole Sommer (1,600) and Cade Collier (discus) were the Spartans’ individual winners. PV also took first in the shuttle hurdle relay.

Nichols had a good enough time to qualify for the Drake Relays in the 3,200, but he was bumped out since PV already had a maximum three qualifiers. He’ll get to run the two-mile at state.

“I wasn’t mad not running at Drake in the two mile,” he said. “We had three guys better on our team. I’m just glad I get to go back to Drake Stadium and run again.”

Nichols had an all-state finish at the state cross country meet in the fall. However, Nichols said he didn’t put in the necessary mileage during the winter months and hasn’t been particularly pleased with where he’s been this spring.

“I’m going to get back this summer and let it go over the top compared to what I did last year,” Nichols said. “I’m running better now than I was at the beginning of the year. Every little bit counts.”

Davenport Central’s Will Reemtsma had to pull out of the 400 hurdles at last week’s conference meet with a hamstring injury. Reemtsma didn’t run the 110 high hurdles Friday, but he did have enough to win his signature event in 53.61 seconds.

Reemtsma, eyeing a Drake Relays-state sweep next week in the 400 hurdles, did some dry needle therapy in the past week to get ready.

“It was almost 100 percent,” he said. “It is a temporary solution for a temporary problem. We’ll do it again Tuesday, give it time to recover and hit it hard at state.”

Reemtsma was satisfied to get through Friday, but realizes he’ll need to let it loose next week.

“Coach just said, ‘Run stupid tonight, don’t worry about anything,’” Reemtsma said. “I got out there, made sure I hit that first hurdle right and it was smooth from there.”

Davenport West’s Malik Westerfield qualified for state in two events. Westerfield was part of West’s runner-up shuttle hurdle relay and set a new personal-best with a leap of 21-6 ¼ to snare second in the long jump.

It is Westerfield’s first trip to state in the long jump.

“DJ Mosley took me under his wing last year, showed me how to do everything and showed me the right way to jump,” Westerfield said. “I wasn’t jumping well at the beginning of the year, but coach told me to keep working on it. It finally paid off at the district meet.”

North Scott’s Trent Allard (high jump) and Spencer Thomas (110 hurdles) recorded wins along with Muscatine’s 1,600 relay.


Sports Editor

Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.